ST. LOUIS - Reds closer-in-waiting Eddie Guardado is on the road trip.
Guardado, coming off elbow ligament surgery, probably won't be ready until sometime in June, but he was happy to lend moral support.
"I was going crazy," he said. "It's good to be with the team. When you're on the DL, you feel like an outcast."
Guardado continues to progress nicely.
He's scheduled to throw breaking balls on flat ground today. If that goes well, he'll throw breaking balls off the mound Thursday.
"It's getting close," he said.
Guardado typically throws 40 pitches at 75 to 80 percent in his bullpen sessions.
He didn't have his surgery until Sept. 8. But he was shut down Aug. 19.
The Reds acquired Guardado in a July 6 trade with the Seattle Mariners.
In the five weeks he was healthy, he did a good job in solidifying the bullpen. He converted eight of nine save chances and has a 1.29 ERA in 14 appearances.
If Guardado, 36, a left-hander, were able to come back and pitch like that again, it would be a huge boost to the club.
It would allow David Weathers to return to a setup role and everyone else to pitch earlier in the game.
How soon Guardado returns is uncertain.
"Everything feels good," he said. "I don't want to have no setbacks."
But a little later, Guardado admitted that he had snuck in a few breaking balls already while playing catch.
When Guardado sees Dr. Tim Kremchek, who performed the surgery, he can't resist trying to push the schedule.
"I tell him to sign the paper and I'll be out there (pitching)," Guardado said.